Apr/May 2005

e c l e c t i c a
s p o t l i g h t   a u t h o r


Alex Keegan's Bootcamp

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

My Porcupine

The vet said he thought I was a female porcupine—I mean he thought the porcupine thought I was. But he pees on me, I said. That's not very gentlemanly.

by Frances Gapper

Disappearing Acts

Flush your wedding ring down the toilet. Remember to check that it's really disappeared. Forget to check. Leave it for him to find, so he knows you're not really dead and sets out in pursuit of you.

by Frances Gapper

My husband goes to the bar to cry

The words they use are to do with hub caps, clutch cables, 0-60 in how many? But they're thinking: "My first car, that shiny, cherry red Chevy. I polished that thing till it dazzled the sun." And they're remembering... hope. How Goddam hopeful they felt, how innocent, untouchable. They're stabbed by that feeling of possibility, and it's gone now, long gone.

by Fleur Chapman

He Slips, He Falls

Sometimes Jean-Paul laughs at this point. He can't help himself. But today he doesn't. Wonders if this is what dying is like, before Pierre's strong hands grab him around the wrists, save him once again.

by Fleur Chapman

What I think about making love

But all this is OK. It's allowed. It's in the code. So you plan a weekend away, in London. And yes, he happens to be there, meeting his agent, whatever. You've borrowed a flat from a friend. Dinner, a Greek restaurant that he knows—amazing, it's always been one of your haunts. A bottle of wine. Each.

by Katherine Pirnie

Gas Gangrene

It's a sick joke, looking back. You people think gas gangrene was some sort of bloating, a passing blackening of the lungs, a momentary seizing up, that it went as the clouds dispersed. You have no idea. No effing idea.

by Vanessa Gebbie

Getting to Hodgingsons

You can drive, to get to Hodgingsons. It's not far. Tipperary is farther, and you can get there by candlelight if you're quick. To Tipperary, that is. Hodgingsons is too far for candlelight.

by Claire Louise Conway

The Song Says Keep Smiling

You remember then, the songs your heard when you were three, four, five, but didn't know the words to, the ones you can still hum, like "Yeh Dosti" from Sholay and "Purdah Se Purdah" from Aamer Akbar Anthony. Your heart twinges at the reminder.

by Hazera Forth

Making a Go

I was really trying. I did a deal with myself. It would be okay, I thought, if I touched the radiators three times. Yes, three times would make it okay.

by Laurie Porter

A Little Man

And, because he was inside his wife, he could not see, but Sam imagined her shaking head, the tinnitus of guilt, the sudden awareness. He rocked in this cul-de-sac, then climbed out quickly out lest a scratchy, worried finger came after him.

by Alex Keegan

About Jose

He laughs. "It's not a disease boy. There are no rules, you don't catch it. It's a fact, like a tree, like the morning, like rain, or these roses. Stop damn apologising!"

by Alex Keegan